Sunday, December 26, 2004

King/Drew: "Out of This Mountain of Despair a Stone of Hope?"

An update on the ongoing troubles at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times published an editorial proposing major changes, particularly in the hospital's leadership, to address its ongoing problems. The Times editorial proposed that the hospital's executives should report to a dedicated health authority rather than to the County Board of Supervisors. A Times investigative report had suggested that the Board of Supervisors neglected severe quality problems at King/Drew due to fear of the political cost of challenging the hospital's entrenched leadership. The editorial proposed bringing in the University of California - Los Angeles to help run the teaching programs at the hospital. These programs are now run by the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. On its watch, the surgery, radiology, and neonatology training programs have lost their accreditation, and the hospital got an overall "unfavorable" rating from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) . Finally, the editorial proposed restoring the institution's clinical focus on the serious health problems prevalent in its geographic area.
(The quote, which appears in the editorial, is of Dr. Martin Luther King.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A friend on staff at MLK had this response when I asked about his career plans given the current climate at MLK:

"MLK? Oh, they're doing an expose on this place in the LA Times. I can vouch for much of the bad things that they are saying. Old news for me.

How does it effect me?
The LA Times does not affect me.
Patients are very critical of everything.. and they question the therapy that I am helping to give.

The hospital is unraveling.
Trauma will be gone in February.
Ortho is going away.
Neurosurgery might be going away.
I anticipate that the process will end with the hospital being transformed to a clinic level facility, possibly with no ability to do surgery.. Who knows?"

In the past my friend has alluded to the fact that the physicians running the place were corrupt, incompetent and not willing to step down to allow competent individuals positions of power.